INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022
BRINGING THE WORLD THE LATEST IN OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS NEWS
THE YEAR AHEAD What’s in store for 2022? | p16 & p22
OPEN OPTICAL NETWORKS: 20 Years in the Making | p14
COMPRESSORS: The future of broadband rollout | p24
TOP PRODUCTS OF 2021 Editor’s Picks | p11
ACCESS OPTICS WORTH US$7.5 BN | NOKIA, TRIALS PSE-VS | SIMPLE SILICON SOLUTION
While we take a look back at some of the highlights of 2021, the main focus of this issue is looking to the future. The end of 2021 is almost upon us and the new year beckons, but what will 2022 hold for the fibre optic communications industry? In this issue we asked two leading analysts and three major industry players for their views and while their findings are not overly surprising, they do define what the industry needs to do to respond to the exponential demand for bandwidth and the disruption to supply chains created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking of which, trade shows and expo’s have started going live once more and, Covid variants notwithstanding, they will continue that way in 2022. Let’s face it, however effective the technology behind virtual expo’s becomes, there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face, or at least mask-to- mask. A prime example was ECOC 2021, held in Bordeaux in September. Despite travel restrictions in place in some countries, the show attracted 130 exhibiting companies and 2,512 attendees frommore than 40 countries. Going forward, Optical Connections’ latest venture, the Telecoms, Optics and Photonics (TOP) conference, in London in February, will also be live, as will OFC and ECOC 2022 in Basel. So, what can we look forward to by way of developments in the year ahead? It seems that 2022 will be less about new technologies, and more about advancing existing ones. In this issue, Infinera’s Paul Momtahan writes that the stars have finally aligned for multi-vendor, open, and disaggregated optical networking, to enable optical networks where coherent transponders/muxponders from one or more vendors can run over an open line system from a different vendor. Also, Reichle & De Massari’s Michiel Panders and Andreas Rüsseler take a look at expected developments in the Local Area Networks, Data Centre, and Telco markets. When looking to the future it is easy however, to concentrate on the innovations taking place in the network and lose sight of the physical tools needed for fast and efficient rollouts. Highlighting a vital piece of kit is Nicol Low, COO at Vert Technologies, which manufactures compressors used to blow fibre. He points out that fast rollout has been hampered by technicians having to rely on compressors that are prone to excessive noise, overheating and lower duty cycles. He explains how new developments in compressor technology will speed up installation times and make the blowing-in process far more efficient. With all this plus a round-up of ECOC 2021 exhibition, including this year’s Award winners and a preview of the new TOP Conference, there’s plenty to look forward to in this issue as well as 2022. Myself and the Optical Connections team send our very best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year to all our readers, subscribers and advertisers, and hope that we will all meet up again in 2022. Peter Dykes Contributing Editor, Optical Connections THE YEAR TURNS AND THE INDUSTRY MOVES ON
Top News 2021
11 Top products 2021
14 Paul Momtahan
Open Optical Networks
16 The Year Ahead
20 Telco, LAN & Data Centres
Michiel Panders & Andreas Rüsseler
22 The Year Ahead
24 Compressors & Broadband Rollout Nicol Low
26 TOP Conference Preview
28 ECOC 2021 Wrap & Awards
30 Product News
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INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022
ECOC 2019 INDUSTRY NEWS
Optics for access networks to hit US$7.5 billion
the next five years. These figures are set against a backdrop of fragmentation of the access market which includes RAN, FTTX, hybrid Distributed Access Architecture through to Low Earth Orbit Satellites. LightCounting notes that even within just one type of access network – Fibre-to-the-X – choices abound, and new vari- ations are being devel- oped, with currently avai l- able flavours including GPON, EPON, 10G-EPON,
A new report from LightCounting, 2021 Access Optics Report and Forecast, says that sales of PON optics will exceed US$3 billion, and sales of grey and WDM transceivers for fronthaul will account
be final ised, new fron- thaul architectures wi l l be developed, and LEOS sat- el l ite providers wi l l wage a serious competitive bat- tle against the entrenched internet providers of the past two decades. In addition, governments are taking renewed interest in promoting and providing financial support to boost the deployment of broad- band, especial ly in hard to reach or under-served areas. Al l of which has an impact the number and type of optical transceiv- ers sold in a given year.
XG-PON2, XGS-PON, NG-PON2, and some pre-standard 25G and
50G PONs. For providers of optical components, the plethora of choices, and the ongoing search for new and better access technologies poses a seri- ous chal lenge. Backing al l of the current and future technologies is expensive and choosing just one incorrectly leads to poor returns on investment. The analyst firm predicts that during the forecast period, 25G and 50G PON standards wi l l
for another US$2.9 billion from 2022-
2026, with the balance being for backhaul and midhaul applications. It adds that the market for optics for access networks will exceed US$7.5 billion cumulatively over
Nokia, Orange trial PSE-Vs
Emtelle wins UK FTTx contract
Emtelle, has been awarded a multi-million-pound contract to supply FTTx infrastructure for regional UK broadband provider Upp. The contract runs until the end of March 2026. Emtelle will work closely with Upp to support the provider’s plans to deploy a full-fibre network to one million premises across the East of England.by 2025. Upp is using existing tele- phone poles to install where possible to cut back on the amount of disruption to roads and paths. Upp is commit- ted to bringing broadband to underserved towns and communities across the East of England. It aims to level up market towns and coastal areas across Norfolk and Lincolnshire to boost the UK’s competitive position in the European digital
market, and has successfully connected its first customers in the towns of Stamford and Diss Emtelle Sales Manager Craig Jones said, “It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Upp and we look forward to building on that relationship. As the need for ultrafast con- nectivity continues to rise, so does the need for reliable and scalable network infrastructure. Emtelle is proud to supply a full suite of products to support Upp’s deployment, helping connect communities over the next few years.” Emtelle, which manufac- tures blown fibre cable and ducted network solutions, recently announced two new strategic appointments to its senior management team as it continues to strengthen its po- sition within the FTTx industry.
50% compared to prior technologies on its long- distance network. The trial was performed in real-world conditions using Nokia PSE-Vs super coherent optics in produc- tion-ready optical transport hardware, just 16 months after the lab prototype trial done on Orange’s live network. Orange and Nokia demonstrated error-free performance at a data rate of 600Gbps over a 914km network between Paris and Biarritz, under live net- work conditions. The fibre network consisted of 13 spans of Orange’s existing network, through multiple cascaded reconfigurable ROADMs, using 100GHz WDM spectrum channels.
Nokia and Orange announced today the completion of a network trial using the Nokia PSE- Vs, its fifth generation super coherent optics. This trial successfully validates Orange’s network
capability to increase its optical capacity to support end-to-end
400Gbps services across its network. With this field trial, says Nokia, Orange has successfully validated a planned upgrade of its long-haul backbone networks to support new high-bandwidth 400Gbps services, and the ability to scale fibre capacity up to 600Gbps. This represents an increase in spectral efficiency by
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022
ECOC 2019 INDUSTRY NEWS
Samsung, Ciena, join forces for 5G
Luceda Photonics launches Shanghai subsidiary office
SITRI, will further enhance collaboration efficiency. Luceda Photonics offers the IPKISS Photonics De- sign Platform, an integrated photonics design environment that enables researchers and companies to automate and integrate all aspects of their photonic design flow in one tool. Leveraging the benefits of its Python code-based approach, the platform enables IP management and enhances teamwork and design flow efficiency. IPKISS covers the complete PIC design flow, from initial idea to design, simulation and validation. It is equipped for niche solutions ranging from 5G, Internet of Things, FTTH, Lidar, Artificial Intelligence, Bio Sensing and Quantum Computing.
Belgium-based photonics manufacturer Luceda, has opened an office in Shanghai to provide products and services targeted at the Chinese market, as well as bringing resources closer to its customers and partners. Luceda has been a player in the Chinese market for the last four years and rates the Chinese region as the second most important market within its portfolio, with revenue doubling between FY19 and FY20. The team in Shanghai has a strong background in PIC and Electronics Design Automation in addition to professional experience at its Belgian HQ. The company says the proximity to fabrication partners such as CUMEC, IME-CAS, and
Ciena has agreed to couple its xHaul solutions with Samsung’s 5G solutions to support the increasing volume of 5G data traffic at the edge and within an increasingly distributed 5G architecture. The companies say that combining Samsung’s 5G RAN and Core with Ciena’s xHaul Routing and Switch- ing portfolio and next-gen- eration Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller will give custom- ers an optimised offer that takes full advantage of 5G services, while providing efficient ways to man- age massive data across networks and to the cloud. This will help accelerate the
deployment of advanced applications enhanced by 5G, such as network slicing, IoT and automation through AI. The combined offer will deliver a validated solution, providing more compatible, faster, and simplified implementations of 5G networks. The combined offer will comprise an end-to- end solution set including Ciena’s xHaul routing and switching portfolio, and next-generation MCP domain controller, and Samsung’s core and RAN portfolio, including virtual- ised RAN (vRAN) solutions, baseband units and radios. The resulting solution set is available immediately.
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High optical damage threshold up to +5 dBm Record sensitivity of -25 dBm @ BER of 5E-5 Optimized for 28 Gbd PAM-4, 100GBASE-ER4 and 25G EPON applications
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INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022
Simple solution to chromatic dispersion
which must overcome the fundamental difficulty that red light travels faster than blue light through transparent materials like glass. So, when an ultrashort laser pulse passes through a glass lens, the tightly packed wavelengths of light separate, destroying the usefulness of the beam. The ultra-thin coating uses precisely designed silicon pillars that briefly capture and hold red light before re-emitting it. This
According to a paper published in Photonics Online, researchers at the Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), in collaboration with Graz University of Technology, have developed a silicon coating that, when applied to the surface of a glass lens, can counteract the effects of dispersion. The technique can benefit many applications that use ultrashort laser pulses in the visible spectrum
Quick bursts of laser light, lasting less than a trillionth of a second, are used in a range of applications today. These ultrashort laser pulses have allowed scientists send long-distance, high-bitrate optical communications, to observe chemical reactions in real-time, to image deli- cate biological samples and build precise nanostructures. The research was co-au- thored by Marcus Ossiander, Y. W. Huang, W.T. Chen, Z. Wang, X. Yin, Y. A. Ibrahim, and M. Schultze.
temporary hold allows the slower-moving blue light to catch up. The researchers tested the coating by shortening laser pulses to only a couple quadrillionths of a sec- ond. The nanopillar silicon coating was made using the same commercial lithog- raphy tools as industrial semiconductors, making it easy to quickly apply these coatings to existing optical components and expand the applicability of femtosecond laser pulses.
AFL opens UK fibre optic cable facility
CityFibre, Ciena build UK 800G backbone
its European customers, such as Openreach, AFL will help speed up rollouts of full fibre broadband in support of the UK government’s target for 85% of UK premises to have access to gigabit-broadband by 2025. Fibre optic cables produced in the facility on Radway Road will be supplied to major UK and European network infrastructure projects that AFL and Fujikura customers are building. Fujikura’s investment in the facility will create new jobs in Swindon and the surrounding region including highly skilled engineering roles.
AFL, a subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd., Japan, has officially opened its new fibre optic cable facility in Swindon, UK, marking the start of commercial production of Fujikura’s Air Blown Wrapping Tube Cable (AB-WTC) using SpiderWeb Ribbon® (SWR®) fibre technology in the UK. AB-WTC is an ultra-high density outside
CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent wholesale full fibre platform, has announced the successful deployment of its first 800 Gbps backbone wavelength in partnership with network technology solutions vendor, Ciena. CityFibre says this is a key milestone on its path to building a full fibre digital infrastructure that will reach up to 8 million premises in the UK. The initial 800 Gbps wavelength serves 23 cities and towns and connects six ‘super core’ sites in Leicester, Peterborough Cambridge, Northampton, Milton Keynes and Lon- don. By the end of 2021,
two further rings will be added, providing the same enhanced core capacity be- tween Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Bristol, Coventry and London. With an additional 90 locations due to be added before the end of 2023, this is the first phase of a na- tional, multi-terabit, DWDM network deployment. Once complete, CityFibre will own and operate a high availability, fully scalable backbone, enabled by Cie- na’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme programmable 800G coher- ent optics, 6500 Reconfig- urable Line System (RLS) and Manage, Control, Plan (MCP) intelligent domain controller.
plant cable designed specifically for FTTH and access network
applications. AFL’s new facility in Swindon is the first factory in the UK and Europe to produce this type of fibre optic cable. The investment in cable production in the UK for
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2020/2021
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INDUSTRY FOCUS TOP NEWS STORIES 2021
2021: A YEAR OF CONSOLIDATION
2021 was another year of great innovation in the fibre optics industry, however the news was dominated by consolidation in the market with several buy-outs and mergers involving some of the industry’s biggest players, writes Optical Communications editor Peter Dykes .
II-VI The year opened with a continuation of the bidding
MOLEX Also in January, Molex announced
In addition to taking full advantage of the enhanced design prowess, intelligent digital supply chain and global manufacturing footprint, Molex will develop centres of optical fibre excellence in Phoenix and Caldwell to support new business opportunities from concept to production.
it was acquiring Fiberguide Industries, a manufacturer of customised optical fibre solutions based in Caldwell, Idaho, for an undisclosed sum. Fiberguide joined Molex’s Polymicro business, a Phoenix- based provider of specialty optical fibre and fluidic-based products tailored for medical, industrial and datacom applications. Molex said that Fiberguide is uniquely positioned to help it address the stringent needs of medical applications, including high-power laser surgery, DNA sequencing and flow cytometry. Both Molex and Fiberguide bring expertise in optical fibres, analytical probes and fully packaged assemblies to support increasing demands for minimally invasive medical procedures. Additionally, a complementary portfolio of design capabilities provides customer-centric solutions for industrial monitoring and sensing as well as datacom applications that require reliable performance in extremely harsh environments. “Fiberguide contributes more than 40 years of technological innovation to Molex,” said Devinder Saini, Ph.D., VP of Technology for Fiberguide. “We share similar cultures and are united in our focus to deliver the most powerful, vertically integrated fibre solutions available.”
war between Lumentum and II-VI over Coherent’s market-leading photonics and lasers businesses, including its microelectronics, precision manufacturing, instrumentation, and aerospace and defence market. Having finally got the hard-won approval from the Chinese regulatory State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), Lumentum thought it had a done deal but II-IV kept upping the stakes until it finally won the day. Ironically, based on share prices at the time, II-VI’s US$6.88 billion takeover offer was less than Lumentum’s US$6.92 billion bid however, a Coherent statement said at the time that the deal with II-VI was a better fit than that of the rival bidder. It was also felt that there would be less overlap with II-VI’s products, particularly in the lucrative Chinese market. Although both companies have a foot in many different industries, the deal makes II-IV a giant in coherent communications at a time when the industry is transitioning to photonics and the potential for profits is massive. According to July 2021 update of Dell’Oro’s Optical Transport Market 5-Year Forecast report, the optical transport market, largely driven by WDM equipment, is predicted to grow annually for the next five years, reaching nearly US$18 billion.
MARVELL In April, the name of
Inphi disappeared from the industry after 21 years, following shareholder approval of its acquisition by Marvell Technology, a specialist in data infrastructure semiconductor solutions. Marvell announced its intention to acquire the Singapore-based company back in October 2020 and with the completion of the buy-out, the company confirmed the Inphi brand would be dropped. Predictably however, everyone involved in the deal was enthusiastic about the possibilities opened up by the joining of the two companies. “I am excited to welcome the Inphi team to Marvell and look forward to realising the tremendous value creation potential of this combination for our customers, employees and shareholders. Together we will have the portfolio, capabilities, and scale to expand Marvell’s leadership in its key growth end markets of 5G, Cloud and Automotive,” said Matt Murphy, president and CEO of Marvell. “I am also pleased that we
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022
PROMOTIONAL FEATURE COMMSCOPE
NOVUX ™ Newest Generation of Hardened Connectivity Propels FTTH Rollouts
Explosive broadband fibre growth and demand throughout Europe are challenging service providers to keep up. High-speed fibre will pass 197 million homes in the European Union and Britain by 2026, up from 118 million in 2021, according to a report from IDATE and FTTH Council Europe. CONNECTIVITY PROPELS FTTH ROLLOUTS NEWEST GENERATION OF HARDENED Explosive broadband fibre growth and demand throughout Europe are challenging service providers to keep up. High-speed fibre will pass 197 million homes in the European Union and Britain by 2026, up from 118 million in 2021, according to a report from IDATE and FTTH Council Europe. GO FROMVISION TO REALITY QUICKLY Explosive broadband fibre growth and demand throughout Europe are challenging service providers to keep up. High-speed fibre will pass 197 million homes in the European Union and Britain by 2026, up from 118 million in 2021, according to a r port from IDATE and FTTH Council Europe. CONNEC IVITY PROPELS FTTH ROLLOUTS NEWEST GENERATION OF HARDENED
Ambitious government high-speed fibre deployment deadlines and a shortage of skilled labour across Europe add to the rollout challenges. The workforce can’t build out fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks fast enough and isn’t able to hit the ground running to meet demand. Altnets and OLOs have an excellent opportunity to deliver direct home connections nimbly and quickly, Ambitious government high-speed fibre deployment deadlines and a shortage of skilled labour across Europe add to the rollout chall ng s. Th workforce can’t build out fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks fast enough and isn’t able to hit the ground running to meet demand. particularly in underserved communities. Traditional service providers tend to focus on large urban centres rather than smaller markets, leaving untapped avenues. EVOLVE QUICKLY AND EMPOWER THEWORKFORCE OF TOMORROW service prov ders tend to foc s on large urba cent es rather than smaller markets, leaving untappe avenues. To support the relentless need for connectivity, CommScope is service providers tend to focus on large urban centres rather than smaller markets, leaving untapped avenues. committed to simplifying and speeding deployments, increasing network density and overcoming complexity in every connection. The new Prodigy™ small- form hardened connector system for fibre terminals and cable assemblies is universally compatible with multiple hardened fibre connectors, simplifying ordering, installation and maintenance. Prodigy simplifies field installation logistics and ordering for customers who use multiple types of hardened connectors and terminals. With Prodigy, customers need only one cable assembly that will include the required different lengths. An installer can simply run a drop cable assembly and convert the Prodigy connector to the required connector in the connection box. Prodigy is particularly ideal for small, highdensity terminal complexity in every connection. The new Prodigy™ small-form hardened connector system for fibre ter inals and cable assemblies is universally compatible with multiple hardened fibre connectors, simplifying ordering, installation and maintenance. Prodigy implifies fi ld installation logistics and ordering for customers who use EVOLVEQUICKLY AND EMPOWER THEWORKFORCEOF TOMORROW To supp rt the relentless need for connectivity, CommScope is com itted to simplifying and speeding deployments, increasing network density and overcoming complexity in every co nection. The new Prodigy™ small-form h rd ned EVOLVEQUICKLY AND EMPOWER THEWORKFORCEOF TOMORROW To support the relentless need for connectivity, CommScope is committed to simplifying and speeding deploym nts, in reasing network d nsity and overcoming Altnets and OLOs have an excellent opportunity to deliver direct home Altnets and OLOs have an excell nt opportunity to deliver direct home connections nimbly and quickly, particularly in underserved communities. Traditional connections nimbly and quickly, particularly in underserved c mmunities. Traditional Ambitious government high-speed fibre deployment deadlines and a shortage of skilled labour across Europe add to the rollout challenges. The workforce can’t build out fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks fast enough and isn’t able to hit the ground running to meet demand. Prodigy simplifies field installation logistics and ordering for customers who use multiple types of hardened connectors and terminals. With Prodigy, customers ee only one cable assembly that will include the required different lengths. An installer can simply run a drop cable assembly and convert the Prodigy connector to the required connector in the connection box. Prodigy is particularly ideal for small, high- and onvert the Pro igy onnector to the required connector in the con ecti n box. Prodigy is particularly ideal for small, high- m ltiple types of hardened connector and terminals. With Pr digy, customers n ed only one c ble assembly that will includ the required different lengths. An installer can simply run a drop cable assembly co nector syste for fibre terminals and cable ass mblies is universally compatible with multiple hardened fibre con ectors, simplifying ordering, installation and maintenance.
footprints. Existing poles and chambers are often congested but being able to use them is the fastest and most cost- effective deployment approach. Physical infrastructure access deployments in Britain give altnets a chance to roll out FTTH networks quickly, and Prodigy helps density terminal footprints. Existing poles and chambers are often congested but being able to use them is the fastest and most co t-effective deployment approach. Physical infrastructure access deployments in Britain give altnets a chance to roll out FTTH networks quickly, and Prodigy helps themminimise space constraints. them minimise space constraints. Networks will soon be able to use Prodigy connectors and adapters with CommScope’s new NOVUX™ hardened terminals in situations when a small Networks will soon be able o use Prodigy connectors and adapters with CommScope’s new NOVUX™ hardened terminals in situa i ns when a small footprint matters. Prodigy is the perfect complement to NOVUX and is the next evolution in outdoor-ready plug-and-play connections. CommScope re-engineered traditional design, product and supply chain approaches to develop the modular NOVUX ecosystem – the first in the industry. Designed for simplicity and configurability, NOVUX uses 75% fewer components than existing products CommScope re-engineered traditional design, product and supply chain approaches to develop the modular NOVUX ecosystem – the first in the industry. Designed for simplicity and configurability, NOVUX uses 75% fewer components than existing products while delivering 50 times more than the number of configurations available today. while delivering 50 times more than the number of configurations available today. Common features among all NOVUX components mean less training across multiple applications and fewer field installation errors. Service providers can also move faster with reduced product delivery times and the ability to configure the fibre solutions they need in today’s competitive environment. CommScope is developing new closures and terminals in the NOVUX fibre connectivity portfolio, giving service providers the ultimate package in configurability, scalability and simplicity. installation errors. Service providers can also move faster with reduced product delivery times and the ability to configure the fibre solutions they need in today’s competitive e vironment. Common features among all NOVUX components m an less training acr ss multiple applications and fewer field CommScope is developing new closures and terminals in the NOVUX fibre connectivity portfolio, giving service CommScope is developing new closures and ter inals in th NOVUX fibre co nectivity portfolio, giving service Networks will soon be able to use Prodigy connectors and adapters with CommScope’s new NOVUX™ hardened terminals in situations when a small footprint matters. Prodigy is the perfect complement to NOVUX and is the next evolution in outdoor-ready plug-and-play connection . CommScope re-engineered traditional design, product and supply chain approaches to develop the modular NOVUX ecosystem – the first in the industry. Desig ed for simplicity and configu ability, NOVUX use 75% fewer components than existing products while delivering 50 times more than the number of configurations available today. Common features among all NOVUX components mean less training across multipl applications and f wer field installation errors. Service providers can also m ve fas er with reduc d product delivery ti es and he ability to onfigure the fibre solutions they need in today’s competitiv environ ent. density terminal footprints. Existing poles and chambers are often congested but being able to use them is the fastest and most cost-effective deployment approach. Physical infrastructure access deployments in Britain give altnets a chance to roll out FTTH networks quickly, and Prodigy helps themminimise space constraints. footprint matt rs. Prodigy is the perf ct complement to NOVUX and is the next evolution in outdoor-ready plug-and-play connections.
CommScope has several solutions that can help service providers optimize costs and speed deployments. For example, CommScope’s FTTH ePlanner helps Britain’s altnets address the surge in demand and growth. The ePlanner is an interactive tool that guides network designers through the network planning process, including modelling environments and understanding which model is optimal for each provider and market. Other resources that are available for all service providers: - CommScope Professional Services will help you design, plan, implement and operate your FTTH network. CommScope doesn’t just look at short- term opportunities. The company also considers new and emerging possibilities and plans for the long term to minimise future network upgrades and disruptions. - CommScope training – Get hands-on training to help you ramp up your workforce and your revenue. For more information and to discuss your network needs, contact your local CommScope sales representative or visit www.commscope.com/contact-us CommScope doesn’t just look at short- term opportunities. The company also considers new and emerging possibilities and plans for the long term to minimise future network upgrades and disruptions. CommScope doesn’t just look at short- term opportunities. The company also considers new and emerging possibilities and plans for the long term to minimise future network upgrad s a d disruptions. For example, CommScope’s FTTH ePlanner helps Britain’s altnets address the surge in demand and growth. The ePlann r is an interactive tool that guides network designers through the network planning process, including modelling environm nts and understanding which model is opti al for each provid r and market. Other resources that are available for all service providers: • Co mSc pe Prof sional Services – CommScope Professional Services will help you design, plan, implement and operate your FTTH network. • CommScope training – Get hands- on training to help you ramp up your workforce and your revenue. For more information and to discuss your network needs, contact your local CommScope sales representative or visit www.commscope.com/contact-us For more information and to discuss y ur network needs, con act yo r local CommSc pe sale representative or visit www.commscope.com/con act-us • CommScope training – Get hands- on training to help you ramp up your workforce and your revenue. providers the ultimate package in configurability, scalability and simplicity. providers the ultimate package in configurability, scalability and simplicity. GOFROMVISIONTOREALITY QUICKLY CommScope has several solutions that can help service providers optimize costs and speed deployments. For example, CommScope’s FTTH ePlanner helps Britain’s altnets address the surge in demand and growth. The ePlanner is an inte active tool th t guides network designer th ough the network planning proc ss, including modelling environments and understanding which model is optimal for each provider and market. GOFROMVISIONTOREALITY QUICKLY CommScope has several solutions that can help service providers optimize cos s an speed deployment . Other resources that are available for all service providers: • CommScope Professional Services – CommScope Professional Services will help you design, plan, implement and operate your FTTH network.
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022 0 1 INDUSTRY FOCUS 2020/2021 1 2
INDUSTRY FOCUS TOP NEWS STORIES 2021
are now organised as a U.S. company and we look forward to continuing to drive innovation in semiconductor technology critical to the nation’s data economy.” Financial terms of the stock and cash transaction were not disclosed, but was thought the deal was worth around US$10 billion.
announced it was paying around US$918 million for NeoPhotonics, a leading developer and manufacturer of ultra-pure light lasers and optoelectronic products that transmit, receive and switch digital optical signals for cloud and hyper-scale data centres at high speed over distance. Coherent’s target markets include internet content providers and telecom networks. Given that at the time of writing both boards had unanimously approved the deal, it looks likely it will be signed off on schedule in 2H22. Lumentum reckons the deal will produce significant opportunities in the 400G+ optical network market as internet, cloud, mobile, and broadband access network capacity requirements continue to grow at an unrelenting pace driven by the digital transformation of work and life, high-bandwidth video, gaming, and other applications. It will also be in a better position to serve market leading customers and a solid financial position will allow it to invest in new products, technologies, and manufacturing capabilities, with a broader portfolio of products and technology. The company is also expecting to benefit from R&D and manufacturing capabilities globally across Asia, North America, and Europe as a result of the deal. With a broader global talent pool, Lumentum says it will be well positioned to accelerate innovation and collaborate more closely with market and technology-leading customers worldwide.
construction sector, is now offering fibre optic installation services to customers across the United States. The organisation’s new Fibre Optic division is led by Dan Tibbitts, who brings 27 years of fibre optics expertise to the organisation. The division will continue to serve utilities in the renewable energy market by expanding and maintaining wind and solar energy infrastructure, while working closely with telecommunications companies to fulfil their broadband needs, including fibre to the home (FTTH). “Sentry has the ability to deliver both large and small-scale projects that exceed industry standards – from underground fibre optic cables placement, repair, and maintenance to fibre splicing, blowing, plant testing, and fibre to the home,” said Tibbitts, Sentry’s director of fibre optics. “The advantage of working with us is that we are a trusted contractor that has been working in fibre optics for years. Our technicians bring both old and new learning experiences to our customer projects, enabling us to specialise our services to successfully deliver even the most unique projects.” OPTICAL CONNECTIONS And finally, a look back at 2021 would not be complete without mentioning Optical Connections’ webinar series, launched in the spring. Topics covered during the year included: Close to the Edge: Fibre for any-haul in 5G access networks; Replacing the copper infrastructure and Managing the fibre network. This successful series will be repeated in 2022 with new topics and a line-up of top industry experts and analysts. Previous webinars are available to be watched on demand here, where details of the 2022 series can also be found.
in August, the other big buyout of 2021 was ADTRAN’s acquisition of German metro and carrier ethernet firm ADVA for US$930 (€789) million. Subject to approval by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, Bundesanstalt fuer Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), and customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to be completed by the year end. There is little crossover between ADTRAN and ADVA’s portfolios as is the case with their geographical customer bases. The deal combines ADTRAN’s range of broadband access products with ADVA’s metro and carrier ethernet businesses, however, both companies have considerable experience in SDN and disaggregated networking. In addition, the vast majority of ADTRAN’s customers (74%) are in North America, with 21% in Europe, whereas ADVA’s numbers are 29% and 62% respectively. The acquisition has already been approved unanimously by the ADTRAN board of directors and the ADVA management and supervisory boards. It also has the strong support of ADVA’s largest shareholder, Egora, which has entered into an irrevocable commitment to tender into the offer shares representing 13.7% of ADVA’s outstanding shares.
SENTRY Mergers and buy- outs aside,
the demand for FTTH roll-outs, particularly in the North American content prompted has at least one company to expand its portfolio into the fibre construction market. In March, US-based Sentry Group, which has made its name in the renewable energy
LUMENTUM Near the end of the year,
Lumentum resumed its coherent expansion strategy after failing to secure a deal with Coherent, it
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022
INDUSTRY FOCUS TOP PRODUCTS 2021
From cables to pluggables, 2021 saw a plethora of new products and here, we list just a few. They are not listed in any particular order, but we think each product will, in its own way, have a significant impact on some aspect of the optical communications industry in the coming year and beyond.
LUMENISITY’S HOLLOW CORE CABLE
RAGILE NETWORKS’ COLD- PLATE NPO SWITCH
Lumenisity® Limited debuted what it claims is the world’s first deployable NANF® based hollowcore fibre optic cable, Hollowcore TradeSmart® and CoreSmart®, which boast 10Gbps, 40 channel DWDM transmission over 10km links. The CoreSmart cables offer high bandwidth and longer reach for Data Centre Interconnects (DCIs) including Edge and 5G xHaul. Recent trials by UK operator BT used ZR pluggable modules and Lumenisity’s new field deployable CoreSmart hollowcore cable to test a variety of use cases, including potential benefits for 5G networks and ultra-secure communications, such as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). Following the launch, the company announced successful CoreSmart cable
Ragile Networks Inc., a California based open
optics module laser input. To avoid heating issues caused by the more integrated components, the switch is equipped
network solution provider, has released a 64*400G data centre switch, RA- BC6932-64X1-DR4, which the company says is the industry’s first Near-Packaged Optics (NPO) switch that adopts cold plate cooling system. The RA-BC6932- 64X1-DR4 is a cloud-scale datacentre switch with NPO and cold plate cooling
trials with Ciena, supporting reaches of more than 1000km for 400Gbps WDM transmission in a recirculating loop. It says the performance demonstrates the potential of the CoreSmart technology across multiple applications for higher bandwidth and longer reach latency sensitive applications such as Data Centre Interconnects (DCIs) as well as Edge and 5G xHaul. In September, Lumenisity won the ECOC 2021 Exhibition industry award for Best Fibre Component Product. Read the full story here.
with a cold plate cooling system to keep the high heat flux density switch ASIC and near-packaged optic modules at a low working temperature, providing high system reliability. By using a non-conductive coolant, the switch can operate safely and there is no short-circuit risk due to possible leakage. A built-in coolant micro- leak detection system also helps to improve rack level reliability. Read the full story here.
technology. Driven by 112Gbps SERDES based
25.6Tbps switch ASIC, the switch introduces ultra-high density 64-port 400GbE DR4 optics in only 1RU chassis by using SN-MT optic interface. The switch also provides 8 QSFP-DD form external laser source (ELS) / remote laser source (RLS) interface at the front panel, for co-packaged
to get there. together.
Micro Optics & Services We couple your light
Because we are experts in the custom manufacture of refractive micro-optic lenses, lens arrays and diffractive optical elements in silicon and fused silica.
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022
INDUSTRY FOCUS TOP PRODUCTS 2021
YOKOGAWA’S HIGH-PERFORMANCE OPTICAL SPECTRUM ANALYSER
first instrument of its type in the industry to achieve a wavelength resolution of 5 picometres (pm). It offers high optical wavelength resolution and closing dynamic range to allow signals that are in close proximity to be clearly separated and accurately measured. It also features smart technologies and functionality such as an intuitive touch screen, automated wavelength calibration, optimised sweep speed and dedicated application setup menus. It also features an automatic wavelength self-calibration function can clearly observe the emission spectra of
Yokogawa Test & Measurement Corporation’s AQ6380 optical spectrum analyser (OSA) is designed for researchers and developers who undertake optical spectrum measurements and require high wavelength resolution. It was designed to help develop and improve the speed, bandwidth and quality of next generation optical networks, including WDM, IoT, cloud computing and 5G. It has a wide dynamic range of wavelength bands between 1200 nanometre
10GHz semiconductor lasers, which was previously difficult. It also comes with a function that suppresses the absorption of light of a specific wavelength by removing water vapor
enables measurement of the original optical spectrum of the light being measured. The touch screen display shows the available wizard- based testing apps which include WDM, DFB-LD, FP-LD or LED testing. Read the full story here.
(nm) and 1650 nm. The benchtop analyser uses dispersion spectroscopy and is claimed to be the
from the air inside the monochromator. This
FUJIKURA’S 90S+ FUSION SPLICER
ACACIA’S SINGLE CARRIER 1.2T MULTI-HAUL PLUGGABLE
Acacia’s, faceplate pluggable coherent module offers multi-haul, single- carrier 1.2T operation. It combines Acacia’s Jannu DSP with 3D Siliconisation packaging technology which includes the SiPh PIC, high-speed modulator driver and TIA in a single opto-electronic package. The module is the eighth generation Coherent Interconnect Module family powered by Acacia’s Jannu 5nm CMOS digital signal processor (DSP) ASIC. Tom Williams, vice president of marketing at Acacia, explained that this eighth- generation module, while being slightly larger than the standard CFP2 pluggable, is the result of a long process and
strategic decisions on how market demand will develop. He said, “I think a lot of the use cases will be migrating by doubling the baud rate to go from 400 gig to 800 gig data rates. How to think of coherent technology and its evolution over time is that in the early days of coherent, solutions were in the 30 to 34 gigabaud range, generally known as Class 1. There were also 100 gig solutions initially, and then 200 gig which were pluggable and embedded solutions. A lot of investment went into 30 to 34 gigabaud OIF standardised components, including strong investment by Acacia.” Acacia is currently sharing prototypes of the module with its lead customers and is expected to have full customer integration in 2022 and commercial availability in 2023. Read the full story here.
Fujikura’s 90S+ fusion splicer is for engineers working on network upgrades and maintenance across
Europe. The addition of the 90S+ model to the 90S series, is in response to a doubling of internet use in some European nations in 2020, as families and businesses went online to stay connected. Fujikura says the thinking behind the 90S+ is that as the surge in usage puts more strain on network infrastructure, network operators have had to rely on regular maintenance and upgrades to keep people online. This means engineers’ work schedules are even busier, so a splicer which makes the entire process faster and easier was an obvious choice. With fully automated features, the 90S+ uses Active Blade Management (ABM) technology to improve the efficiency of the cleaver to reduce costs and boost productivity. It also has
new Active Fusion Control Technology (AFCT), which analyses the condition of the cleave end face to perform optimal fusion control and minimise splice loss. Against previous models, the 90S+ reduces overall working time and the unique design of the 90S+ has engineers in mind. The easy splice positioning system makes it quicker for the user to handle the fibre, while real-time fusion control analyses the fibre’s brightness intensity during fusion contributing to stable, reduced splice loss. Read the full story here.
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2021/2022
PROMOTIONAL FEATURE ENSURE
COMPONENTS LEADER ENSURE BETS ON A GRADE B CONNECTIVITY FUTURE
Manufacturer scales up development and production capacity
Optical network component engineering firm Ensure has committed to increased research and production of its best-in- class Grade B connectors as it drives industry development and forecasts future demand. The firm offers Grade B connectors in their market-leading PLC splitters (assembled with Ensure’s in-house wafers, chips, and FA arrays) as well as patch cords and pigtails. Ensure brings its historically massive commitment to R&D and expertise in scalable production chains to the initiative. “As high-speed data and telecommunication fiber-optic networks continue to grow at breakneck speed, we’re making major investments in Grade B research and production capacity to offer our customers the latest technology at maximum quality” says Lee Jin, R&D Director. While Grade C connectors are universal and attenuation standards are easy to meet
(IL<=0.25dB) when low concentricity ferrules are used, the axial misalignment of the two ferrules with Grade B connectors must be as low as possible -- a standard that proves much more difficult to meet 100% of the time (IL<=0.12dB) when using a general assembly process. All the fibre cores must be adjusted in a defined zone to get low attenuation of random mating. How can a ferrule be adjusted in order to properly assemble the connector in a Grade B connector? The key is the core tuner , a highly specialized and costly machine that can rotate the ferrule in a unified direction in order to match the fibre core into the defined zone. Ensure is expanding its Grade B assembly connector capacity with a large-scale investment in 17 core tuners, which can yield 140,000 pieces per month. “Given our experience in maintaining top-notch quality when it comes to scaling up
operations based on market or customer demands, Ensure will be at the ready to take this commitment even further” comments Lee Jin.“ Additionally, Ensure has committed to 100% recyclable packaging, phasing in the replacement of two widely-used containers with a biodegradable CRS4.0 blister box, plus all patch cords and pigtails will be shipped in compostable, self- sealing bags, including those manufactured with the latest Grade B connectors. Founded in 2002 and part of the HH Group, Ensure has earned its leadership position in advanced PLC manufacturing thanks to strict, start-to-finish oversight of the entire process -- from design and production to packaging and shipping. Ensure’s premium components power some of the world’s best- known and fastest-growing ISPs, including Telefónica, Vodafone, AT&T, Altice, and DS Telecom.
INDUSTRY FOCUS 2020/2021 1 2
PAUL MOMTAHAN OPEN OPTICAL NETWORKING
The concept of multi-vendor, open, and disaggregated optical networking has been around for some time, but only now has it truly come to fruition, writes Paul Momtahan , marketing director at Infinera. 20 YEARS IN THE MAKING OPEN OPTICAL NETWORKS:
I t appears that the stars have now aligned for multi-vendor, open, and disaggregated optical networking. Open application programming interfaces (APIs) with YANG-based data models, compact modular platforms, high-performance coherent transceivers, and multiple standards initiatives have all come together to enable optical networks where coherent transponders/muxponders from one or more vendors can run over an open line system from a different vendor, as shown in Figure 1. Benefits include accelerated innovation, optimized and differentiated networks, and transformed economics. But is this really new? Haven’t we been talking about “alien wavelengths” and “open line systems” for years now? The reality is that
and management aspects of the OTN. It also specifies the frame structures and bit rates used in the network (2.5G, 10G, and 40G) and the mapping of client signals into it. The frame structure made provision for carrying (optional) forward error correction (FEC), while an annex described a first- generation Reed-Solomon (255,239) FEC. G.709 has been revised and amended multiple times since 2001; the current in- force G.709 (2020/06) now includes signal rates at 25, 50, and N x 100G. A network using wavelength-division multiplexing requires a channel assignment scheme so the transceivers know what wavelength they may use and the spectral width of the signal they may transmit to avoid interfering with other users of the network. We do this by specifying a “frequency grid,” so the second important step on the road to open optical networking was the 2002 specification of a fixed-frequency DWDM grid in ITU-T G.694.1. Ten years later, in 2012, a revision added definition for a flexible grid. In 2020, definitions for “frequency slot” and “slot width” for flexible-grid networks were added. An alien wavelength refers to a wavelength generated by a transponder of one vendor or operator transported over the optical line system of a different vendor or operator. It is hard to pin down exactly who first used the term alien wavelength and when. According to Wikipedia, the first mention was in 2009. However, according to Google Scholar, the first reference to an alien wavelength was in a 2004 paper, “OMNInet: A Metropolitan 10 Gb/s DWDM Photonic Switched Network Trial”: “writing signal-ID transparently onto alien wavelengths before they are allowed on the photonic network.”
open optical networking did not happen overnight. The optical industry has been taking incremental steps toward open, multi-vendor optical networks over the last 20+ years. Here are some of the key milestones on that journey. The updating of G.709 in 2001 provided a first step on the road to open optical networks. Originally specified for SDH by the CCITT, the precursor organization to the ITU-T, ITU-T Recommendation G.709 (2001/02), “Interfaces for the Optical Transport Network,” marked the beginning of the Optical Transport Network (OTN) era. It specified how the overhead, sometimes referred to as the “digital wrapper,” provides the functionality to support the operations, administration,
Figure 1: Open optical networking: open Xponders, open line systems, compact modular, and open APIs
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